Two days after being told his attempt to buy an empty shop in Galashiels had been unsuccessful, George Macdonald was informed his offer to buy the outlet had, in fact, been accepted.
“I’m not quite sure how this happened, but I’m delighted and raring to go,” said Mr Macdonald, who hopes to open store – at the new Melrose Gait housing development in Easter Langlee – in October.
On Friday, his application for an off-sale premises licence – to sell alcohol from 10am till 10pm seven days a week – was approved by the local licensing board.
Seven days earlier, Mr Macdonald, who already owns three convenience stores in the Borders, had submitted an offer to the selling agents for Persimmon Homes, which has built the bulk of the 300 completed homes on the estate and has consent for another 300.
“The asking price for the retail unit was offers over £40,000 and I put in what I thought was a very reasonable offer,” recalled Mr Macdonald this week.
“On the Tuesday, I phoned the selling agents and was told my offer had been rejected.
“But on Thursday, the same day this was reported in The Southern, I got another call from the agents to say my offer had been accepted – just in time for my licence application to be considered and approved.”
Mr Macdonald, who lives at Newtown St Boswells, currently owns three stores under the Premier banner – at Havelock Street in Hawick, Rosetta Road in Peebles and Caddon Court in Innerleithen.
“The Melrose Gait unit is quite small – about the same size as my busy Innerleithen store – but I believe I can make a success of it for the benefit of residents of the Persimmon development and other new housing in the vicinity,” said Mr Macdonald.